Meeting with Bernie

Discussion about Ruby Murray.
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Gerald Lawrence
Posts: 685
Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2005 2:48 am
Location: Kenilworth, UK

Meeting with Bernie

Post by Gerald Lawrence »

Today I spent a very pleasant day with Bernie, who is continuing to bear up under the strain of pain from his knees. His first knee, which has already been operated upon, is not yet free from pain, and his second knee is awaiting an appointment to get fixed. As Bernie said, it is a long wait for someone who will be 90 this year!

The main purpose of the visit was so that he could hand to me the music "pad" which went everywhere with Ruby while she was performing, and which contains the arrangements made specially for her for piano, bass and drums. He knows I am a pianist and I am looking forward to seeing how the arrangements sound, while imagining Ruby not only singing to them, but discussing the performance with whoever was playing for her that day. There is a handwritten note in the front from Marie, Ruby's long time friend and for many years her main accompanist, so she was also involved with this pad.

What struck me at first look was that the pad contains very few of Ruby's recorded songs, but many arrangements of songs sung by other singers, made specially for Ruby because her name has been written at the top. Examples include "Just Loving You", "Who's Sorry Now", "Feelings", and "It's Impossible", as well as "Jingle Bells" and "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer" (obviously for a Christmas performance!) If only we had recordings of these lovely songs to add to our collection, but the chances of these emerging now will be very remote indeed. Thank you Bernie for giving me the chance to get really close to Ruby in my imagination by playing from the very music that Ruby used to sing from. It will be carefully looked after here, you can rest assured.

It was also very good for me to see some of the other collected items in Bernie's apartment - the special photographs of him with Ruby, the portrait painting hanging over the fireplace, and the plaque from Ruby's dressing room door while she starred in "Painting the Town" with Norman Wisdom at the London Palladium. But the two things which brought the greatest memory for me were the two statues which were awarded to Ruby in 1955 and 1956 by the Daily Mirror when she was voted the top UK singer two years running in the Daily Mirrror Disc Festival. For each year the top artists in each category (such as best Male Singer, Best Female Singer, Best singing group, best small band, best Big Band and so on) were all invited to a concert at the London Palladium for which tickets were not put on sale but were awarded to winners of a competition which ran in the paper. In 1956, when I was just 16, this consisted of proposing a title for a song and naming your preferred singer. My winning entry which got me two tickets was "I've Just Had My First Dance" and the singer was of course Ruby! That was an exciting evening for me attending the concert!

We talked about the sad lack of activity on this forum nowadays, so I am posting this to add a new thread, and perhaps it will trigger others to join in and tell of some of their cherished memories - it does't matter if we have seen them before, none of our memories are what they used to be!
Gerald

Bernie Burgess
Posts: 1051
Joined: Sun Feb 13, 2005 12:45 am
Location: Sutton Coldfield

Re: Meeting with Bernie

Post by Bernie Burgess »

Gerald,
What a great posting you have made. It was equally a great pleasure for me to be able to talk 'RUBY' to someone who has always been a devoted fan of Ruby's and a valuable friend of mine. I was pleased to be able to hand over Ruby's DOTS to someone who can play them. I am sure that you will cherish them. Personally I had the strangest of feelings when handling the music knowing that they were carried around by Ruby wherever she performed. I hope that you might also get the same feeling as I did when handling the 'parts'.

Bernie Burgess
Posts: 1051
Joined: Sun Feb 13, 2005 12:45 am
Location: Sutton Coldfield

Re: Meeting with Bernie

Post by Bernie Burgess »

I was hoping that one or two readers of these postings might decide to post their comments, sadly no-one has. It's a little disheartening to both Gerald and myself . . .

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Jk
Posts: 400
Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2005 2:22 am
Location: Wigan

Re: Meeting with Bernie

Post by Jk »

Hello Bernie/ Gerald.

I have just read both your post which I found very interesting. I have very fond memories of Ruby and met her on a number of occasions around the country. I first came interested in Ruby at a very young age while watching ‘Quite Contrary’ she replaced the lovely Joan Regan and from that moment on I was hooked. My first meeting with Ruby was at the Hume Hippodrome in Manchester which I think is now the Apollo, I will never forget that night the theatre was packed and at the end of the show the audience would not let her go it was a standing ovation and Ruby sang Softly Softly once again while the crown was still standing and clapping. After the show was finally finished I got my first of many meetings with Ruby.
After that I went to all the shows in Blackpool which there was many including the night Ruby married Bernie. Later on as I became a teenager and started courting we use to plan our holidays around where ever Ruby was appearing cost me a fortune it did.

I could go on all day talking about the places we visited but would take too long but I think you get the gest of it.

On 29th June Martina Cole the author was on “Desert Island Discs” and chose Galway Bay as her record sung by Ruby Murray
Regards
John.

Bernie Burgess
Posts: 1051
Joined: Sun Feb 13, 2005 12:45 am
Location: Sutton Coldfield

Re: Meeting with Bernie

Post by Bernie Burgess »

Thank you John for your posting. I always knew that you were an ardent Ruby fan. I was interested to hear that Ruby's version of Galway Bay has been on Desert Island Discs. I never cease to be amazed by the amount of data concerning Ruby and her many records can be found on the Internet, long may this continue. I suppose the fact that the 50 year period has come and gone so that means that royalties are no longer payable so this has opened the flood gates.

Look after yourself John, I am looking forward to your next posting which I hope will be joined by many others.

Bernie. . .
Last edited by Bernie Burgess on Sat Jul 28, 2018 10:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

Bernie Burgess
Posts: 1051
Joined: Sun Feb 13, 2005 12:45 am
Location: Sutton Coldfield

Re: Meeting with Bernie

Post by Bernie Burgess »

I have just listened to Ruby singing 'Galway Bay' on 'Desert Island Discs'. I confess that the older I get the more touched I become whilst listening to Ruby singing on her many discs. I get overwhelmed by emotions and have to pinch myself and stop feeling her presence whilst listening to her voice. There will never be another Ruby, she had quite a unique 'velvet fog' sound and a wonderful quality in her voice, that is why she stood out amid so many other recording voices.

Bernie,

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